Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mantra to my rescue

This month, I think my "spiritual aura" was perhaps among the lowest ever. Firstly I had a series of illnesses that culminated in getting all the symptoms of the A (H1N1) flu. Second, it must be low enough for a kumbhanda ghost to attack me. I must have looked an easy target for it since I was also very sick. That happened after I slept on Thursday night (6 Aug) and it must have came on early Friday morning (7 Aug).

I felt like my state of mind was like what Venerable Ananda experienced in The Shurangama Sutra. Ven. Master Hsuan Hua said in his commentary to one of the verses about Ven. Ananda:

"His mind was not totally alert, but he wasn't totally muddled either. He was in a daze, as if he was asleep, and yet he was awake...Or, he was like a person who is about to drift off to sleep; he isn't quite asleep, and yet he has a dream, or what seems to be a dream. He had no power to free himself. It's like encountering a demonic ghost while you are asleep at night, such as a kumbhanda ghost, which uses a demonic spell to paralyze you. When that happens, you may wake up and stare, but you cannot move."

Ven. Ananda was freed only by the timely intervention by Manjusri Bodhisattva. He depended on the Buddha to have Manjusri Bodhisattva go rescue him. I was in a daze too, but yet I knew I was having some trouble with my body. Don't forget I was having fever too then. I particularly felt weak. I tried to struggle a little but could not do much. In that condition, I thought I was done for. But the Most Kind Buddha was always mindful of sentient beings. He reminded me of one mantra because it suddenly came out of my mouth at that moment. I recited it a few times, after which only "it" let go of me and disappeared. I was lying on my left side of the body, so after being freed, it was like a spring that bounced back after being held down. My body suddenly and almost forcefully turned to the right and I lied down on my back flat. And felt momentarily shocked, scared, and yet relieved. Then it dawned on me that I had been attacked by dark forces recently. I also reasoned that the widespread A (H1N1) flu must have been the work of these dark forces even though physically we can attribute it to new strain of virus.

I have mentioned before of the effects of other mantras that I had experienced but this was the first time I had personal experience of the awesome powers of this particular mantra. Which mantra was it? Ven. Ananda, who is the Buddha's cousin and personal attendant, was saved by the Shurangama mantra. I, who is nobody, was saved by "OM MANI PADME HUM". Clearly, this speaks for itself how powerful a simple mantra like the Mani mantra can be. Sometimes we take it for granted. Dear Avalokiteshvara, thank you so much for this wonderful mantra! Om Mani Pade Hum.

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